Since its launch in March of 2013, we’ve welcomed many babies into our Daily Mom family. During our first year, there was one almost every single month. We actually have an ongoing joke that if you want to get pregnant, join the Daily Mom team! This summer we welcomed our newest Daily Kid to the family, after a 2 year baby drought.
Our Editor Ashley, her husband Jeremy and their daughter Felicity, welcomed their newest addition, James Thomas, on June 8th. We checked in with Ashley to find out how everyone’s adjusting to being a family of 4.
How did you prepare Felicity for her brother’s arrival? What were her thoughts/reactions to him initially?
Felicity started asking for a baby brother or sister long before her baby brother was even conceived. I guess like many kids her age, she saw her friends’ moms with babies in their bellies and wanted one of her own. That, and Daniel Tiger got a baby sister sometime over the past year. We love Daniel Tiger.
Whatever the case, I remember telling her around Christmas last year that she was going to be a big sister. She thought she was just doing another one of my daily photos, when I asked if she knew what the sign said. I couldn’t help but cry as I told her she was going to be a BIG SISTER. She was so excited. However, if I’m honest, I think she was more excited about the prospect of “mommy milk” coming back than she was becoming a big sister.
For months, she wanted to know when her baby was coming home. We read, we watched the Daniel Tiger episodes about becoming a big brother, we talked; the whole time, I kept her very involved.
This baby was as much hers as he was ours.
We took her to the anatomy scan that determined whether we were having a boy or girl, and she continued coming with me to most of my doctor’s appointments. Since I went weekly to receive a progesterone injection, we had a lot of time to talk about everything. I even took her to those last few appointments before his birth in which my doctor was checking my cervix. Was it awkward? Yes. But what a great opportunity to talk about anatomy. Bless her heart – for weeks following his birth, she was also “birthing babies.”
When she finally did meet him, she was a little intimidated – of course, I think that had a lot to do with mommy being in the hospital. She got over it pretty quickly and climbed into bed with me.
Are there any memorable moments from/since his birth you would like to share?
JT’s birth was quite memorable. I tend to deliver my babies fast. Felicity was born within 3 hours of my water breaking in a restaurant, 5 weeks early. Therefore, I knew that the chances of JT speeding through the birth canal were quite high. My doctors and I both agreed that as soon as I felt like I was in labor, I needed to make a beeline to the hospital.
However, when the day finally came, I was hesitant to move. Around 6:15 AM, I was having contractions between 5-6 minutes apart. Felicity was asleep beside me, so I just kept track of them while chatting with my neighbor. She suggested that if I felt like this was it, I should attempt to go to the bathroom (you know, #2). I should have woken my husband up at that point, but Felicity rolled over and started cuddling. I couldn’t leave her.
An hour later, we were all awake and getting ready to go to the hospital. However, I took my neighbor’s advice and my contractions went to 2 minutes apart; all while I’m trying to get ready. At 8 AM, we were in the car (Felicity went to our neighbor’s house). I held tightly to the “oh crap” handle – clearly in active labor. Meanwhile, my husband tried to navigate rush hour traffic in an effort to avoid a car delivery.
We arrived at the hospital at 8:30 AM. I was rushed to a delivery room where the nurses undressed me at record speeds and got me in bed. I was already at 9.5 cm dilated and ready to push. My husband arrived 6 minutes later and JT was crowning. Another 6 minutes (8:42 AM) and he was here. No epidural, no drugs, no time. And, we were literally one stoplight away from having a baby in my minivan.
How have you been adjusting to being a mother of two?
I always worried about how life would be different moving from 1 to 2 children. Felicity and I did everything together, so I worried about my time being divided. However, it really does feel like he’s always been a part of the family. Now, getting out of the house – that’s another story. After spending 2 hours round trip at the grocery store, I quickly decided that to-go shopping was going to become my new best friend. Quite honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t been using that service sooner.
How is it different, if at all, having a boy vs. a girl?
I can’t say that there are many differences yet, with the exception of genitalia and the maintenance required for a boy vs. a girl. We opted to have our son circumcised, so the first week of tending to his manhood was a little traumatizing for everyone. Beyond that, I’ve gotten peed on a few times – enough that I quickly learned how to change a diaper without getting wet.
I can say that it’s funny how much my children look and act alike – although I think Felicity has JT beat when it comes to crying. She must have cried for the first year of life non-stop.
And the diapers – she blew out of every diaper we put on her. I was doing laundry all the time. With JT, he definitely cries, but not all the time (although it felt that way a couple of weeks ago). He hates having a wet diaper. And he’s a spitter. I have to keep him upright for at least 15 minutes after he nurses if I don’t want my milk to be spit all over me.
Oh and he loves to be swaddled. Felicity always fought her way out of a swaddle. I always know that if he’s ready to go to sleep, that I can swaddle him and he’ll settle down.
Do you have any advice for mothers of one who are pregnant with their second?
Take advantage of any help thrown your way.
When Felicity was born, I wanted her all to myself and didn’t want any visitors for the first week. This go round, we welcomed the help. I didn’t want Felicity’s needs to go unmet because I was preoccupied, and she still wanted to play regardless of how much sleep I did or didn’t get the night before. Whether it’s playing with your older child, preparing a meal or just another set of hands, welcome any help you can get!
Congratulations once again to Ashley, Jeremy and Felicity on welcoming James Thomas into their family! Stay tuned for more Daily Kid birth announcements this year.